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Word Count: 3,177
The only acceptable motive for a moral action is that it should be done as a sense of moral duty Is this a justifiable claimBefore it is possible to analyse whether the statement The only acceptable motive for a moral action is that it should be done as a sense of moral duty is a justifiable claim we must consider what ones moral duty is and if is it dependant or independent on the consequence of its action For example we could state ones moral duty is never to lie It is popularly believed that to lie is detrimental to ones own reputation and often causes emotional and social damage But what if this principal causes damage itself Truth telling for a negative means can be just as harmful Imagine you are told by a person fleeing from a murderer that he is going home to hide Successively you are approached by the murderer demanding to know where that man went Your moral duty would then oblige you to inform the murderer despite the possible fatal consequence When studying the diverse issue of duty it is necessary to look at the view of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 who stated Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe the starry heaven above me and the moral law within meKant understood the word ought to be generally used in non-moral way For example if you want to be better at school you ought to study hard The inclination of the ought implies that studying would be the correct moral path to take However Kant stated that this is only relevant to the individuals desire to be better at school Those who do not wish to do well at school need not study hard Therefore it is a Hypothetical Imperative and the use of the word ought makes moral actions not universal A hypothetical good act depends on the desire for
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